Islamabad - While the government claims it is fully committed to ensure the best health facilities at the public sector hospitals of Islamabad, sale of unhygienic edibles in surroundings of these hospitals is going unchecked, posing a great threat to the health of people.

Around four thousand patients and attendants daily visit the region’s largest hospital, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), and have to depend on the edibles being sold in its canteen and kiosks set up outside the hospital.

Though the rates of different food items were found affordable by The Nation, yet quality of stuff and cleanliness was not upto the standard.

The available items included fast food, tea, snacks, cold drinks, biscuits  and curry in the canteen and kiosks.

The people, due to negligence of the administration and food authority, are compelled to eat the unhygienic food. Besides this, sanitation and cleanliness condition of the hospital is very poor as there is acute shortage of toilets and washrooms in the hospital.

Talking to The Nation, Muhammad Nawaz from Sargodha said that the food available inside and outside the hospital neither has standard nor taste.

“Flies are seen everywhere and polluting the environment but we have to purchase from the canteen as there is no other alternative,” said Nawaz.

Amber Shehzadi informed The Nation that she has come with her sister to the hospital from Abottabad City but after taking edibles here she herself felt the need to consult a doctor for stomach problems.

“Inside hospital people seek medical cure but right outside it unhygienic edibles are being sold to patients and attendants,” she added.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson PIMS Dr Waseem Khawaja while talking to The Nation said that the hospital administration was making efforts to ensure cleanliness inside the hospital in its full capacity. “The sanitary staff of the hospital carries its work all the day long for keeping the environment clean,” he said.

Dr Khawaja also stated that quality of food is an issue but the authority is trying its best to maintain healthy environment in its surroundings.

However, he said checking the food quality doesn’t fall in the duties of the hospital administration. “The department concerned of the city administration should check the food quality as it has the proper equipment,” said Dr Khawaja.

Similar situation was witnessed outside the second big hospital of the city, the Federal Government Services Polyclinic, where mainly kiosks are providing edibles to patients and their attendants in the medical facility.

Talking to The Nation, a kiosk owner, said that they provide quality food cooked in fresh oil and has made proper arrangements for dishwashing and parceling of the edibles. “Everything is not perfect but we try to maintain hygiene level,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Nation witnessed visitors taking edibles inside the hospital in polythene bags.

Talking to The Nation a visitor Ajmal said that due to rush in the hospital it almost takes hours to get checked by the doctor and it is not possible to survive for so long without food. “But the food quality and other edibles being provided cannot be declared standardised,” he said.

The hospital officials informed The Nation that the food being provided outside the hospital has no quality but people who cannot bring food from their homes have to depend on these stalls.

“People surely face health issues because of unhygienic food being provided outside the hospital,” he said.

He advised the people to bring food from their homes instead of eating from outside.